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Numerical and Experimental Tools for Offshore DP Operations

ABSTRACT

DP crane vessel operation can be analyzed based on the uncoupled system or considering the fully coupled system. Parameters such as top-crane acceleration, thruster capability and vessel motions are evaluated for several environmental conditions. Numerical and experimental tools are used andthe important result of this analysis is the maximum condition in such that the operation can be safely executed. Those operations are critical, since the vessel is kept in close proximity with other unit and large loads are transported in a pendulum configuration. A precise positioning of the crane-vessel is required, in order to avoid unsafe relative motions, as well as keep the load being transported on a stable position. The uncoupled analysis approach does not consider the influence of the other unit in the crane vessel. This paper presents a methodology for evaluating a DP crane vessel in the offshore operations (DP crane vessel, load being transported, mooring and assistance lines, platform) considering the fully coupled method based on integration of the in house codes with the commercial code WAMIT®system. The methodology is based on the integration of numerical and experimental tools. The dimensions of the transported modules and the proximity of the vessels change the behavior of the vessel motions and line tensions. So, a full nonlinear time domain simulator (TPN – Numerical Offshore Tank) is used to perform the coupled analysis of the system subjected to several environmental conditions, considering also the dynamics of the suspended load and the hydrodynamic interference between the bodies. In order to calibrate the numerical model, several experimental tests are performed such as wind tests with some positions of the crane, tests in towing tanks to evaluated the current effects, thrusterstests to calibrate DP algorithm and wave test with the two bodies. In some cases a complementary CFD analysis is requested in order to evaluate the current and wind shadow effect. Several alternative relative positions between the vessels can be evaluated. This methodology results a more accurate estimative of the system performance.

Paper OMAE2011-50010, pp. 685-692. Link